Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Rohingya Muslim killed after speaking to reporters

The headless body of a Muslim villager has been found days after he spoke to reporters on a rare government-guided media tour of restive northern Rakhine state, Myanmar police said on Friday.
Police did not give a motive for the killing of the 41-year-old man, whose body was found floating in a river, but said he spoke to Burmese journalists on Wednesday in Ngakhura village.
"On Thursday his family said he had disappeared after giving interviews to journalists," Police Colonel Thet Naing in Maungdaw town told AFP news agency.

"This afternoon [Friday] I got the report his headless body was found... We have confirmed from villagers that it is him," he said.
Myanmar soldiers have taken control of the dangerous and remote region bordering Bangladesh since October 9 when armed men raided police posts, killing nine officers.
Troops have killed more than 80 people in Rakhine since the start of crackdown, according to official figures.
Conflict analysts at the International Crisis Group say fighters behind the border post attacks have also killed several Rohingya "informers" perceived to be working with Myanmar authorities.
At least 34,000 Rohingya Muslims have since fled to Bangladesh, taking with them allegations of mass-killings, rape, and torture at the hands of Myanmar's security forces.
The Myanmar government has vigorously denied the accusations, setting off the latest war of words over a stateless minority whose status is one of the country's most incendiary issues.

Rare media tour

In a statement Friday, the president's office confirmed that a man - whom they identified as Shu Nar Myar - had been killed, adding he had denied stories of military abuse when speaking to the reporters.
"Shu Nar Myar is the one who revealed that there was no case of arson by the military and police forces, no rape and no unjust arrests," the statement said.
Two Burmese reporters, who did not want to be named, told AFP they interviewed the man on Wednesday at his village and had been contacted by police to say he was missing.
The rare media tour of the area - open only to Burmese journalists - was organised by the government amid mounting pressure on de-facto civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to allow access to the conflict zone.

Her government has responded to growing international alarm over the crisis with a dogged information campaign aimed at batting back reports of military abuse.
Northern Rakhine has been under lockdown for more than two months since the hundreds of armed men launched surprise attacks on border posts.
The International Crisis Group says the attackers are from a Saudi-backed group called Harakah al-Yaqin, which emerged after a wave of sectarian violence cut through Rakhine in 2012.

The Rohingya have languished under years of dire poverty and discrimination from a government that denies them citizenship.
The United Nations and other rights groups have repeatedly called on Myanmar to grant them full rights, describing the Rohingya as one of the world's most persecuted minorities.

Another gang rape by Myanmar's rapist army

The shocking news below is from the RB News:
Maungdaw, Arakan – A Rohingya woman from Myaut Chaung village tract in Northern Maungdaw Towship was gang raped by the Myanmar military in front of her husband.

Today, at 11am on December 23rd 2016, a 55-year-old Rohingya man from Ganda Khali hamlet of Myaut Chaung village tract was working in a paddy field. Whilst he was working, a group of military detained him and beat him severely. Then he was taken to his house and five soldiers raped his 25-year-old wife in front of him, according to a villager. 

After raping the woman, the soldiers took the man to the village administrator's office and released him after extorting 100,000 Kyats from him.

The soldiers also detained another man in the same hamlet, Baesar Ali age 50, son of Mamed Hussein, after they picked him up from the street. They released him after extorting 200,000 Kyats from him.

In addition, on December 22nd 2016, a group of 70 soldiers entered into the same hamlet and kicked out all of the women from their houses. Then they plundered belongings from the houses.

Since October 9th 2016, at least 300 Rohingya women and girls have been raped by Myanmar soldiers and Border Guard Police, many of them gang raped. However, the Myanmar government continues to deny that any rapes are taking place despite mounting evidence.

(The name of the man and his wife have been left out for their safety and dignity).

Important links to understanding genocide of Rohingya people

Here and here are the two links that are recommended by Dr. Maung Zarni to understand the genocidal crimes against the Rohingyas of Myanmar.

Inter-ethnic divisions in a young democracy cannot be downplayed or wished away, and it’s time Myanmar’s government and the international community acknowledge strong evidence that genocide is being perpetrated against the Rohingya and act to end it, Katherine Southwick writes in the first link.

In the second link, Sir Geoffrey Nice and Francis Wade write, "The world can no longer look away from the intensifying assault on Burma’s Rohingya minority."
They conclude: "Today we know enough about the conditions that give rise to genocide that no one in power can justifiably claim ignorance. An understanding of these processes is assumed among all modern leaders, Aung San Suu Kyi included. The democratic mandate handed to her civilian government a year ago has resulted in that most pernicious of democratic outcomes — a tyranny of the overwhelming majority against which a small and vulnerable population is now bracing itself. Rather than providing a pathway to harmony after decades of conflict, Burma’s transition has unleashed popular hatreds that no institution in the country seems either able or willing to rein in. Suu Kyi should know that inactivity in the face of genocidal actions can carry moral, legal, and even criminal responsibility."
I wish Suu Kyi is listening and amending her deplorable roles and responsibilities to make a change for the better. But as a hardcore racist that she is, I am not too optimistic!

Harun Yahya calls for unity to stop Rohingya persecution

After nine Myanmar security officers were killed at the Bangladesh border by unidentified assailants on Oct 9, the systematic persecution and massacres of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar has increased once again, for which the said murders were used as an excuse.
During the one-and-a-half months following the Oct 9 incident, 428 Muslims were martyred, 440 were arrested, 192 women were raped, 160 Muslims were tortured, 1,780 houses were burnt, and mosques were set on fire in the brutal operations carried out by the Myanmar army and the Arakanese Buddhist minorities.
The United Nations stated that almost all of the villages populated by Rohingya Muslims were declared “security zones”, but it was impossible to deliver the aid intended for 150,000 people.
More than 30,000 Muslims had to leave their homes to flee this cruelty and brutality.
John McKissick, head of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees sub-office in the Bangladeshi border town of Cox’s Bazar, describes the recent atrocity as follows:
“(They are) killing men, shooting them, slaughtering children, raping women, burning and looting houses, forcing these people to cross the river.”
The Myanmar government and army has banned relief agencies, journalists and human rights observers from entering the region to prevent the documentation of the persecution. On the other hand, the government has insistently rejected the claims of human rights violations committed there and made unsubstantial, even ridiculous claims in its defence, such as the Rohingyas burnt their houses themselves.
Human Rights Watch, on its official website, disclosed in detail that all the new findings refute these allegations by the government. The Asia director of the organisation, Brad Adams, contradicted the government, saying: “The satellite imagery and eyewitness interviews clearly point the finger at the military for setting these buildings ablaze.”
Indeed, the Human Rights Watch report reveals in detail the destruction, atrocities, persecutions and massacres by the armed forces in the Rakhine State of Myanmar during the period between Oct 9 and Nov 23, with a good deal of evidence, documents, witness statements and photographs.
Rohingya Muslims, whose origins date back to the 8th century, faced their first serious oppression when the British occupied the region towards the end of the 18th century. After Myanmar declared independence in 1947, the persecution and oppression got worse. Arakanese Muslims were ceaselessly subjected to all kinds of discrimination, inequality, rights violations, oppression and sanctions by the central government.
However, the bloodiest operations aimed at speeding up and completing the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the region started in 2012, as a result of which around 250 people were martyred and tens of thousands were left homeless. This time, the local racist Buddhists were provoked against Muslims by means of a widely circulated false report on local media that Muslims had allegedly raped a Buddhist woman. In the same year, countless Muslim villages were burnt along with thousands of houses, workplaces and places of worship in them. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims were displaced and the number of torture, detention, rape and other inhuman practices remains unknown.
The latest wave of persecution and policy of oppression had been gradually escalating in recent years. Currently, Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the ruling party and de facto leader of Myanmar, is displaying a strangely indifferent attitude with regards to these disasters.
Nobel Peace Laureate Suu Kyi supports the army members and racist Buddhists terrorising the Muslims in Arakan, when she should have been the one that most vehemently opposes such oppressions and massacres and, should act to end them.
Suu Kyi argues that the inhuman practices, the brutality and genocide, which have been carried out in the region for many years before the eyes of the whole world, are “fabricated and exaggerated claims”. During a speech in Singapore a few days ago, her reading of a paper on the situation of the Rohingya Muslims mockingly and laughing aloud was worrying.
The current situation shows that the only ones that can help the Rohingyas are again none other than Muslims. However, unless Muslims act together in unity, it doesn’t seem possible for them to have any real international influence, have their voices heard or enjoy any political power or exert influence no matter how unfairly they are treated. It is clear that in their current fragmented and divided situation, which at times turns hostile, the Islamic community is in no position to help other Muslims, to ease their sufferings and stop the bloodshed.
Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been crying foul at Myanmar’s attitude and looking out for the Rohingya Muslims, describing the situation in Myanmar as outright genocide and ethnic cleansing, announcing that they will defend Muslims and Islam, and he has urged the UN, the International Criminal Court and Islamic organisations to intervene in this situation. This is a highly positive and remarkable effort.
Our greatest wish is that this responsible approach becomes a common characteristic of all Islamic countries and their leaders, and that all Muslims act with a strong spirit of unity, brotherhood and solidarity. When this happens, they will be instrumental in bringing peace, comfort, prosperity and happiness to both the Islamic world and the whole world, regardless of race, sect or nationality as the troubles, pains, suffering and disasters come to an end.

Harun Yahya has authored more than 300 books, translated into 73 languages, on politics, religion and science

U.S.-led coalition supports terrorist groups in Syria?

The news below is reported by the Reuters:
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he has evidence that U.S.-led coalition forces give support to terrorist groups including the Islamic State and Kurdish militant groups YPG and PYD, he said on Tuesday.
"Now they give support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG, PYD. It's very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos," he said.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Franz Wassermann remembers the Nazis, and warns of chilling parallels today

Franz Wassermann is not the only person worried about his country. But he is among the few Americans who’ve seen a country upended by words and actions that most people didn’t take seriously, until it was too late.

Wassermann, a 96-year-old retired psychiatrist, has never considered himself to be a political activist. But this, he believes, is a moment that requires his voice, so he composed a brief letter, which he sent to Washington’s U.S. senators and shared with friends and family. His grandson’s partner sent a copy to me, and after I read it, I visited with Wassermann in Seattle’s Green Lake neighborhood to hear more of his story.

Here’s how the letter begins:

“I was born in Munich, Germany, in 1920. I lived there during the rise of the Nazi Party and left for the U.S.A. in 1938. The elements of the Nazi regime were the suppression of dissent, the purging of the dissenters and undesirables, the persecution of communists, Jews and homosexuals and the ideal of the Arians as the master race. These policies started immediately after Hitler came to power, at first out of sight but escalated gradually leading to the Second World War and the holocaust. Meanwhile most Germans were lulled into complacency by all sorts of wonderful projects and benefits.”

He sees similarities in our country today, early warning signs of what could happen if people go along imagining that there is no real danger.

In our time, he wrote, “The neo-Nazis and the KKK have become more prominent and get recognition in the press. We are all familiar with Trump’s remarks against all Muslims and all Mexicans. But there has not been anything as alarming as the appointment of Steve Bannon as Trump’s Chief Strategist. Bannon has, apparently, made anti-Semitic remarks for years, has recently condemned Muslims and Jews and he and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the pick as National Security Adviser, advocate the political and cultural superiority of the white race. At the same time Trump is trying to control the press.”

Wassermann wrote that the entire Nazi ideology is in place and wonders how far it will go here. “We can hope that our government of checks and balances will be more resistant than the Weimar Republic was. Don’t count on it.”

I want you to listen to him because he has seen it before. Wassermann was 12 when Hitler came to power in 1933. He said the German economy had been in bad shape for a long time, and no one seemed to be able to do anything about it. The Nazis were the last party left to turn to.

The party negotiated a softening of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which punished Germany for World War I, and the party was praised for speeding up construction of the Autobahn highway system and creating the Volkswagen. The nation acquired new territory. Everything seemed wonderful, Wasserman said. But it wasn’t.

Some of the worst was hidden from the public, but there were people who knew.

Wassermann’s father was a professor, his mother a pediatrician. His uncle ran a factory, but for all of them life changed, a little at first, and then it got rapidly worse. The government decided Jewish people shouldn’t be professors or hold leadership positions.

Wassermann’s father was forced to resign his position at the University of Munich in 1935. His uncle was removed as factory director and went back to his chemistry work, then after a time he was sent to load people onto trains. Eventually he himself was loaded onto a train and killed soon after.

Wassermann’s father left in 1937 to take a two-year position at the University of Chicago, but Wassermann said the government confiscated his mother’s passport and told her they would hold it for two years, essentially keeping her hostage.

Wassermann joined his father in 1938, and his mother was able to get out the next year and get his older sister from France, where she was studying, and come to America.

Wassermann kept all the letters that crossed between family in Germany and America in those years and translated them into English so that they could be a record of what happened. Actors read from the letters in two performances this year in Seattle.

And now he is reaching out in this letter of warning, which concluded with a plea:

“We have to counter this trend toward fascism in every way we can. Being alert to all manifestations in word and action. Alerting our representatives and urging them to act. Writing to newspapers. Making our friends aware. Demonstrating when appropriate.”

Could our democracy be subverted in some way similar to what happened in Germany? Only someone who doesn’t know history would say it absolutely couldn’t happen. We are responsible for protecting our democracy, which means recognizing danger signs and challenging ideas and actions that violate the ideals we claim as our own.

“I didn’t see it coming” is no longer an excuse.

Jerry Large’s column appears Monday and Thursday. Reach him at 206-464-3346 or jlarge@seattletimes.com. Twitter @jerrylarge

NY Times: Zionism is Racism

Here is an interesting article on the subject.

The UN resolution against Israel

For the first time, in many years, the US government did not veto a pro-Palestine resolution that just got passed in the UN Security Council. Israel's hawkish prime minister Netanyahu is very upset about the resolution which calls for a total stoppage of all settlement activities in the West Bank. For years, it was simply because of the US support that the pariah governments of Israel, one after another, and it did not matter whether they were Likudniks or not, that virtually gave a blank cheque to the rogue state to violate established international laws, including those formulated and drafted by the USA. So, as the world simply watched and watched, Israel continued to build illegal settlements.
That has changed last week when the US government decided not to veto the bill.
Netanyahu is pulling the ambassador from all those countries that passed the bill. He is upset with Obama, the poor Obama, who had been the best supporter of the pariah state since probably Truman.

Here is an analysis of the resolution as to what it means, or may not mean, given that it came too late while Israel continues to build settlements non-stop.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Bertil Lintner's ugly mask exposed by Dr. Maung Zarni

Saturday, December 17, 2016
Bertil Lintner makes facts up about Rohingya while playing to popular and policy-Islamophobia
By Dr. Maung Zarni
The Irrawaddy is a disputable anti-Rohingya racist
platform run by a group of anti-Rohingya Burmese.

Why would a well-respected Swedish journalist based
in Chiang Mai, Thailand for over several decades make
facts-up on the Rohingya and the Burmese politics
surrounding the Rohingyas while choosing to ignore
the genocidal context in which various forms of
Rohingya resistance has developed over the decades?

One possible explanation:
Jumping on the post-Truth bandwagon that rests on the pervasive and detectable Islamophobia and 'anti-terror' opportunism -
"It is also not known whether today’s militants, as suggested, want to establish an Islamic state in northwestern Arakan State, or are looking only for new havens for operations in the region, including perhaps even India."
Remarkably for a Muslim population subjected to decades-of-genocidal policies, Rohingyas have committed not a single act of violence against civilians.
This largely absent Rohingya radicalism - as ICG has correctly noted - is even more remarkable when seen against the fact the largest number of Rohingyas in diaspora are in Saudi Arabia, the reported funding and ideological base for radical political Islam and all kinds of terrorist activities.
Never mind. Facts are no longer important in the growing post-Truth journalism. Lintner has joined this new club.
Here is one example of Lintner making facts up.
LINTNER's MANUFACTURED "TRUTH":
"In 1961, the last remaining rebels surrendered after an agreement was reached with the government. They were going to get their self-governing area, called the Mayu Frontier Administration.
Those early rebels did not call themselves Rohingya but mujaheeds. It was not until the late 1950s that the name Rohingya came into use and the government recognized the designation. U Nu, who had resigned as prime minister in 1958 to give way to a military caretaker government headed by Gen Ne Win, wanted to get the Muslim vote when he sought re-election in 1960—and the creation of the Mayu Frontier Administration as well as the recognition of the name Rohingya was part of that campaign."
1) Mayu Administration was already decided upon long before 4 July 1961 surrender by the Mujahideens, a radical armed group, that did NOT enjoy the widespread support form its own communities across N. Arakan, Burma - nor support from East Pakistan, at the time.
2) A) Rohingyas did call themselves Rohingya, a self-referential ethnic identity long before 1950's. The ascribed ID by the racist Rakhine was "Kaw Taw", by the British was "Arakan Muslims", etc. B) Mujihideens is NOT an ethnic
name, but an honourable label for those who fight for justice. (Similar labels exist in all religious communities -
Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, etc. This is not exclusive to Islam and Arabic world).
3) The top echelon of the Burma army was aligned very closely, if not openly, with U Nu's rivals from the Socialist wing of the umbrella Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League party, the ruling nationalist coalition which ruled the country.
Aung San was head of the AFPFL and Nu was vice-chair. In 1958 AFPFL split, Nu led the Clean AFPFL Faction & the two socialists Kyaw Nyein and Ba Swe (home and defence ministers respectively) led the Stable AFPFL faction.
General Ne Win was commander in chief and Brig. Aung Gyi was 2nd in Command. Aung Gyi was one of the leading socialist nationalists before he joined the Army thereafter.
The whole country knew in the 1960's election campaign - which U Nu won in a landslide - Ne Win-Aung Gyi army was fully behind anti-Nu candidates - namely Ba Swe and Kyaw Nyein.

Nu turned to the Buddhist majority by making 2 major promises:
A) making Buddhism official state religion; the ballot boxes were painted Saffron or bright yellow, indicating Nu stood for Buddhism.
Rohingyas are overwhelmingly Musims. This was not going to get U Nu's Muslim votes.
B) promising to predominantly Buddhist Rakhines and predominantly Buddhist Mons their long-sought Statehood, from Rakhine Tai or Mon Tai to Rakhine Pyi or Mon Pyi, considered more autonomous administratively.
The plan to set up Mayu Administration for the predominantly Rohingya was made by the Ministry of Defence Border Affairs Division, as the Rohingya leaders from N. Arakan townships were bitterly opposed to granting Rakhine an autonomous statehood as promised by U Nu - and even long before that.
Because of their past bloodshed between Rakhines and Rohingyas during WWII, they pleaded with the Ministry of Defence Border Affairs NOT to be placed under Rakhine rule to be headquartered in Sittwe.
Mayu District Admin was the direct and positive response from Ne Win and his deputies such as Brid. Aung Gyi and Col. Saw Myint. NLD Vice Chair, then Lt.-Colonel Tin Oo, was the one who was ordered to set it up as he was the Commander of All Rakhine Command. But because the Mujihadeens were still quite active in N. Arakan, the admin was not operationalized. Tin Oo was reposted back to Rangoon, and Lt-Colonel Ye Khaung as Tin Oo's replacement operationalized the Mayu Admin, with my late great uncle - Major Ant Kywe - as Deputy Chief of Mayu District
Administration in 1961.
Now let's look at Lintner's dismissal of Rohingyas' claim to identity and history in this borderlands area.
He cites the Israeli diplomat-cum-expert on Burmese Muslims Moshe Yega and Yega's THEORY and argues that Muslims of Arakan who now claim themselves "Rohingya" have nothing to do with the Rooinga - as recorded by East Indian company's Scottish amateur ethno-linguist Buchanan in his widely accepted field survey read at the conference in Calcutta in 1799.
But in 1999, in his Burma in Revolt - a journalist's scrambled account of protests, etc. known as 8888 Uprisings, he was writing the complete opposite.
There were a lot of minute details in the rest of the article which essentially spins that Rohingya militancy has an international Jihadist dimension and great potentials to become a serious terrorist issue.
ICG's report was far more nuanced, far more acutely aware of decades of deep sufferings of the Rohingyas while Lintner is so focused on showing the history of militancy, armed movements, etc. - weaving together completely UNconnected facts, over the last 70 years. Mujahideens of the 1940's and 1950's were long dead, and so have their independence inspirations or joining up with next door.
Not even the Kachin Independence Army whose cause Lintner espouses is pursuing the dream of independence or secession.
Look at this disingenuous framing of the motives or mission of the new Rohingya militants.
"It is also not known whether today’s militants, as suggested, want to establish an Islamic state in northwestern Arakan State, or are looking only for new havens for operations in the region, including perhaps even India."
How would a closeted anti-Muslim racist like Lintner know what the Rohingya militants which he has never met or known aspire to?

After all, Lintner could NOT even get the most elemental fact of how the official recognition of Rohingya ethnic name, and the minority status, as well as their own separate administration vis-a-vis the hostile Rakhine came about, something any competent Burma expert would have been able to research.
There are plenty of Burmese who would be happy to translate primary Burmese language documents and materials for western journalists, not simply for $ which they can use, but to prevent the Orientalists from butchering the past of their country.
Lintner is the journalist who can buy exact information deep within the Ministry of Defence, if he wants to expose truths and facts, say about Burma's N. Korea ties, underground tunnels, or missile shipment.
This is more than shoddy professional writing.
One can only conclude that Lintner is NOT really interested in getting facts and empirical explanations of Rohingyas, their suffering or their nominal resistance.
In my view Lintner has, in this piece on the Rohingya, engaged in a FAKE JOURNALISM, the purpose of which seems like post-truth opportunism.
Writing about terrorism, militancy, potential terrorism - all against the backdrop of (anti-Muslim) "Global War on Terror" - gets one relevant with governments, intelligence agencies and prospective funders.
Sadly - and outrageously - for the Rohingyas, this is tantamount to climbing the ladder stepping on the piles of the skeletons of Rohingya babies and grown up washed up on shores of the Naaf River, or the Andaman Sea.
As a former correspondent for the now defunct, HK-based Far Eastern Economic Review Bertil Lintner most definitely KNEW what Rohingyas have been going through oscillate between ethnic cleaning and a genocide.
After all, his employer was covering this issue with ominous titles such as "Burma's Brand of Apartheid" as early as 1978 - as the first large scale terror campaign by the Burmese Army was launched.
Finally, even the former head of Burmese Military Intelligence, and my old "pal", ex-General Khin Nyunt was more truthful about how many Rohingyas the military had driven out of Rakhine: close to 280,000 between Feb and June 1978. (See the Burmese language book "the Problem of Western Gate", by ex-General Khin Nyunt, July 2016).
Lintner didn't bother to upgrade his knowledge:
"International interest in the issue came after the Burmese government in March 1978 launched a campaign codenamed Naga Min (“Dragon King”) in Arakan State, ostensibly to “check illegal immigrants.” By June, at least 200,000 Rohingya had fled to Bangladesh, causing an international outcry."
This is not just bad journalism; it is post-Truth that rests on detectable Islamophobia and 'anti-terror' opportunism.
All the impressive details would intimidate any reader who is NOT versed in Burma affairs including Rohingyas, or terrorism.
But it is exceedingly difficult to detect which bits of Linter's details in this article are fabricated as he goes along, or which bits are empirical and factual.
If I were a policy maker or adviser or an intelligence analyst fishing for facts about potential "terrorism" arising out of the Rohingya context I would be very, very cautious about trusting Lintner - his "facts", "analysis", or reportage.

Press Release from ARNO

Arakan Rohingya National Organisation (ARNO)
Joint Statement
18 December 2016
 

Investigation Commission of Myanmar Indulges in Falsehood again
 
We, the undersigned Rohingya organisations worldwide, strongly condemn the false and fabricated statement of the Government Investigation Commission, led by military appointed Vice-President U Myint Swe, which was released on 14 December 2016 particularly for the following reasons:
  1. The members of the Commission made a 3-day trip to Rohingya villages in northern Maungdaw Township, such as Kyigang Pyin, Kyein Chaung (Bawli Bazar), Ngakura, Pyint Phyu Chaung, Praung Pyite, Wabeik, Gwa Sone, Thara Oat, Dar Gyi Zar, Zin Pyin Nya and Kyet Yoe Pyin before issuing this statement.
     
  2. But 95% of the male villagers, including the leading persons of the villages, had been driven out or asked to stay away from their villages, ahead of the visit by the Commission members to most of the Rohingya villages. The soldiers even threatened the villagers of serious consequences if they apprised the commission of any human rights violations committed by the forces there.
     
  3. Despite such threats and pressure some of the Rohingya village elders came out from their hiding places and met with the members of the Commission. In all villages the Rohingya men, women, students and children categorically informed them that the soldiers had committed mass atrocities and indulged in killings, rapes, arson and loots.  The commission members heard them without taking any note of what the Rohingyas complained. The Rohingya villagers are aggrieved that whatever they had narrated of the atrocities committed by them before the Commission members their accounts and complaints were deliberately kept out of the statement of the Commission. It is clear that this statement of the commission is not transparent and is devoid of any truth.
     
  4. The news that appeared in the U.K. Guardian newspaper on 10 December that 8 members of the Noor Ayesha of Kyet Yoe Pyin village were killed was a true occurrence. Her 5 children were burned to death, her husband was shot dead, her two daughters were raped before they were killed and she was also raped. A number of Kyet Yoe Pyin villagers knew her family. With her family she indeed lived in Kyet Yoe Pyin until that day of October she lost 8 members of her family.
     
  5. It is a blatant lie that, according to the Commission’s statement, the soldiers did not perpetrate any human rights violations in any Rohingya village. However, such statement does not surprise us as we had already rejected the formation of such Investigation Commission, which in fact is not independent and represents the perpetrators themselves.
     
  6. Therefore, we again demand for an UN-sponsored International Investigation Commission in order to find out the truth and bring the perpetrators of all atrocities in the Rohingya villages to justice.

Signatories;
  1. Arakan Rohingya National Organisation
  2. Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK
  3. Bradford Rohingya Community in UK
  4. Burmese Rohingya Community in Denmark
  5. Burmese Rohingya Community in Australia
  6. Burmese Rohingya Association Japan
  7. Canadian Burmese Rohingya Organisation
  8. Rohingya Advocacy Network in Japan
  9. Rohingya Arakanese Refugee Committee
  10. Rohingya Community in Germany
  11. Rohingya Community in Switzerland
  12. Rohingya Community in Finland
  13. Rohingya Community in Italy
  14. Rohingya Community in Sweden
  15. Rohingya Organisation Norway
  16. Rohingya Society Netherlands
  17. Rohingya Society Malaysia

For more information, please contact:

U.K.                  Tun Khin                                +44 7888714866
Germany:         Nay San Lwin                        +49 69 26022349
Japan:              Zaw Min Htut                         +81-8030835327
Australia:          Dr. Hla Myint                          +61-423381904
Canada:           Nur Hasim                              +1 (519) 572-5359
Bangladesh:     Ko Ko Linn:                            +880-1726068413

 
Copyright © 2016 Arakan Rohingya National Org., All rights reserved.
This is combination of all existing list
Our mailing address is:
Arakan Rohingya National Org.
24 Warwick Road
London01 E12 6QP
United Kingdom

Crimes of Myanmar government continue

According to the Rohingya Vision another 13 Rohingya homes and a shop were demolished by the Myanmar security forces in south Maungdow in the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar.

EU on Bangladesh's push-back

BRUSSELS, Dec 20 (KUNA) -- The European Union on Tuesday said it recognises long-standing solidarity of Bangladesh with those fleeing violence in Myanmar and urges Bangladesh not to deport them or turn them back.

The EU urged Bangladesh to provide assistance and protection for people fleeing violence until the situation stabilises and their safe return can be ensured, thus contributing to the stability of the region.

The EU noted in a press release tonight that "there was a full and frank exchange in a constructive spirit on a number of matters of common interest." The statement followed the EU-Bangladesh biennial meeting on Good Governance and Human Rights in the framework of the EU-Bangladesh Cooperation Agreement.

Topics discussed included the rule of law, human rights, the rights of minorities, freedom of expression and of the media, the situation of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar.

Moreover, the EU expressed "concerns on extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, the death penalty, freedom of association and freedom of expression, and overall on shrinking space for civil society" in Bangladesh. 

Harun Yahya on the Rohingya genocide

Myanmar, undoubtedly the country with the worst record of human rights in Southeast Asia, witnessed a development that aroused excitement and hope across the entire world about a year ago. After half a century of military junta government, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won the November 2015 general elections. One of the election promises of that party’s leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was “real change”. However, the year that has passed since clearly showed that nothing has ever changed for the Rohingya Muslims: They are still the helpless victims of a horrific ethnic cleansing. 
The project of purging Rakhine state of the Rohingyas continues at full steam. Hundreds of innocent Rohingyas have been massacred, hundreds of women have been raped, hundreds have lost their lives while trying to escape persecution and thousands of Muslim houses have been plundered and burned in the ongoing operations of Myanmar’s army and security forces since October.
In images published in the press and the media, the innocence and helplessness of the Rohingya people are written all over their faces; the miserable state they are in that is fraught with hunger, poverty and destitution is extremely shocking. In the words of an expert from the United Nations, they are “probably the most friendless people in the world”.
Under the leadership of Suu Kyi, the new government is surprisingly in total concurrence with the military. The new administration rejects outright the reports of the UN and human rights organisations. On top of that, it makes the unbelievable claim that the Rohingyas have burned their own houses in order to draw the attention of the international public.
According to government officials, the news about ethnic cleansing is nothing but a “smear campaign” and those killed are merely “Bengali terrorists.” Foreign journalists, independent researchers and relief organisations are banned from entering Rakhine state. The insults, threats, attacks and hate crimes committed by racist and radical Buddhist organisations against Rohingya Muslims do not receive the necessary response.
Before the election, Suu Kyi was already drawing attention with her evasive attitude towards the Rohingya issue; after becoming the de facto ruler of the country, she adopted a wholly negative attitude towards the Rohingyas, in other words, her own people. So much so that some of her recent statements and dubious actions have reached a level that cannot even be explained by terms such as “political manoeuvring” or “maintaining balance”.
Having earned a reputation in the past as “an advocate for peace, democracy and human rights”, Suu Kyi currently rejects any documents or reports regarding the ethnic slaughter the Rohingyas are faced with. Moreover, she is even against the use of the term ‘Rohingya’; she also labels the accusations as “fabrications”. This being the case, it would not be realistic to expect the government to take any meaningful steps towards a solution. 
The government officials hold Rohingya Muslims accountable for the October 9 attacks on the border posts in the Rakhine State but the facts are far from verifying this claim. First of all, the Rohingyas are a non-violent, peace-loving, downtrodden and benign people. There is no evidence suggesting any armed resistance or rebellion in the region. Besides, they do not even have the freedom to travel within their own state; they are suffering the most terrible oppression and extreme poverty and the refugees in the concentration camps right on the other side of the border in Bangladesh are living in unimaginably difficult conditions. The claim that people living in such miserable conditions can carry out simultaneous, comprehensive and organised attacks is surely against reason.
Moreover, looking at developments in the last two months, it becomes painfully obvious that the Rohingya people have derived no benefit from the October 9 attacks but rather, they were the side who suffered the worst. On the contrary, those who have reaped the benefits of the attacks are radical Buddhist groups trying to legitimise their hateful actions against the Muslims, the drug traffickers who seek an unstable region so that they can conduct their operations more easily, and Myanmar’s Army and the state itself, who try to justify with these attacks their violent and lawless practices. All these facts give rise to the thought that the said attacks were not perpetrated by the Rohingyas, but by certain shady powers.
On the other hand, they are not “Bengali illegal immigrants”, but people that have lived in Rakhine for generations. They are people whose civic rights as well as fundamental rights and freedom have been taken away and who suffer all kinds of inhumane treatment. These oppressed and downtrodden innocent people do not pose any threat to Myanmar; they have no intention of seceding from or dividing the country. They are not second-class; they are “full citizens” of the country, and they simply want to enjoy the same rights with all other ethnic groups and live in harmony with the Buddhists in mutual trust, peace and respect.
Until now, the efforts of the UN and human rights organisations have fallen far short in solving the Rohingya issue; as for the Western states, they mostly adopt an apathetic approach. Although the recent mediation attempts of the committee chaired by the former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan, are a well-intentioned effort, it seems that it will not come to fruition. A historical responsibility falls on the Islamic countries for supporting and helping these poor people. If all these countries can stand up and act in unison for the oppressed, downtrodden and aggrieved Rohingya Muslims, they can dissuade the Myanmar government from its unjust practices. Undoubtedly, this struggle must be carried out within the scope of the international rule of law, and by pursuing fair and peaceful methods.
In the past few days, thousands of people gathered in the public squares of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, and most particularly Malaysia; they joined hands in the name of the Rohingyas. Indonesia and Malaysia have decided to give them temporary refuge. We hope that this will be a good start; that the entire Islamic community comes together and demonstrates that the Rohingya Muslims are not without friends. Otherwise, if the Islamic countries remain silent while poor, innocent Rohingyas are being massacred it would mean, in a sense, we would be supporting the evil and the oppressors, which is a mistake all Muslims should avoid.

*Harun Yahya has authored more than 300 books on politics, religion and science, translated in 73 languages.  He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Donald Trump's choice for ambassador to Israel


US President elect Donald Trump has selected a hardline pro-settler lawyer to become the next Ambassador to the Zionist state of Israel. To find more, click here.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Suu Kyi Oversees Rohingya Genocide


Here below is a report from Tony Cartalucci, a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

--------
Reading commentary, analysis, and even alleged “reports” from the Southeast Asian state of Myanmar, it would appear that Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi – poster child of American and European “democracy promotion” – is helpless to avert what is quickly expanding into wholesale genocide against the nation’s Rohingya minority.
In reality, Suu Kyi’s political coalition has for decades been bolstered by highly politicized sectarian factions, including saffron-clad “monks” who have regularly employed street violence in support of Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party. These same factions – also for decades – have pursued a policy of racially and religiously charged, politically-motivated violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya population.
Myanmar’s Rohingya – many of whom have lived in the nation for generations – had at one point coexisted with Myanmar’s majority ethnic groups. It was only relatively recently that enterprising political factions decided to use racial and religious tensions as a means of galvanizing and radicalizing opposition aimed at undermining the then military-led government and bringing Suu Kyi to power.
It was warned years before Suu Kyi came to power that should her party win elections, free reign would be granted to her supporters to fully and openly pursue their genocidal agenda. The NLD has won the elections, and that genocidal agenda is now unfolding.
Covering Up Suu Kyi’s Ties to Sectarian Extremists… for Years    
This fact is omitted across the Western media’s current reports, in an effort to exonerate Suu Kyi from any responsibility for the ongoing violence.
CNBC News, for example, in an article titled, “Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi under fire as Rohingya crisis escalates in Rakhine,” claims (emphasis added):
A year after becoming Myanmar’s de-facto leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi is coming under a barrage of international criticism for her failure to end alleged military crimes in the country’s northwest.

About 1.1 million people in the state of Rakhine identify themselves as Rohingya Muslims, an ethnic minority that has long suffered persecution in the Buddhist-majority nation. The group’s origins in Myanmar can be traced back to the fifteenth century, according to the Council of Foreign Relations, but Rohingyas have yet to be granted citizenship and remain unable to vote.
Strategically omitted from CNBC’s coverage is the fact that it was Suu Kyi, her NLD, and street demonstrations led by her “saffron” supporters that protested the previous government’s attempts to grant the Rohingya provisional citizenship and voting rights ahead of the elections that saw Suu Kyi’s NLD come to power.
Australia’s ABC News would report in a 2015 article titled, “Myanmar scraps temporary ID cards amid protests targeting ethnic minorities without citizenship,” that (emphasis added):
Myanmar’s government says identity cards for people without full citizenship, including Muslim Rohingya, will expire within weeks.

The scrapping of ID cards snatches away voting rights handed to them just a day earlier (Tuesday), after Myanmar nationalists protested against the move.

The Rohingya, along with hundreds of thousands of people in mainly ethnic minority border areas, who hold the documents ostensibly as part of a process of applying for citizenship, will see their ID cards expire at the end of March, according to a statement from the office of president Thein Sein.
The “nationalists” were of course, Suu Kyi’s “saffron” supporters.
Saffron and Secular Savagery 
Readers may remember Myanmar’s “Saffron Revolution,” a 2007 “pro-democracy” protest named after the “saffron” robes of the “monks” who led the street protests. Backed by the United States and British governments, the protests followed the same pattern of “color revolutions” carried out elsewhere to advance Western interests, including across Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
The “Saffron Revolution” is now rarely mentioned by the Western press, though in 2007, the US State Department-funded propaganda platform, The Irrawaddy, would report in their article, “Suu Kyi Greets Monks at Her Home; 10,000 Monks Demonstrate in Mandalay,” that:
Detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, dressed in yellow, came out of her home, where she is under house arrest, to pay respect to protesting monks who marched in front of her home on Rangoon’s University Avenue on Saturday afternoon, witnesses said.
The Irrawaddy would also report:
On Thursday, The Federation of All Burma Young Monks Unions called on students and civilians to join hands with monks in public demonstrations against the military regime which has ruled the country for almost 20 years. 
Human Rights Watch, in a lengthy report titled, “The Resistance of the Monks: Buddhism and Activism in Burma” (PDF), further exposes the role several sectarian factions in Myanmar played in bringing Suu Kyi to power. It mentions by name the many sectarian unions and associations that were involved in creating the power base and street fronts that helped bring Suu Kyi into power.
Those mentioned, also concurrently involved in anti-Rohingya violence, include the All Burma Monks Alliance under which many others fall.
The UK Independent in a 2012 article titled, “Burma’s monks call for Muslim community to be shunned,” would mention several by name:
The Young Monks’ Association of Sittwe and Mrauk Oo Monks’ Association have both released statements in recent days urging locals not to associate with the group. Displaced Rohingya have been housed in over-crowded camps away from the Rakhine population – where a health and malnutrition crisis is said to be escalating – as political leaders move to segregate and expel the 800,000-strong minority from Burma. Earlier this month, Thein Sein attempted to hand over the group to the UN refugee agency.
The All Burma Monks Alliance would even send representatives to Washington DC to attend a US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) event alongside other political allies of Suu Kyi and her NLD party – who while secular – also support discrimination and violence against the Rohingya.
The US Funds Them All… 
The Alliance’s own website in a 2012 post titled, “Trip to Washington D.C,” states (emphasis added):
On September 19 and 20, 2012 the All Burma Monks Alliance monks traveled to Washington, DC and joined many friends in welcoming Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to the United States. They watched as she received the Congressional Gold Medal, which is the highest honor given by the US Congress. They attended the event honoring her at American University and another event which honored recipients of the National Endowment for Democracy’s 2012 Democracy Awards.
These included Aung Din [a] leader of the 1988 student movement and a former political prisoner who is co-founder and executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Burma.
Aung Din – far from the only secular supporter of anti-Rohingya violence – is also the author of several crypto-racist articles circulated throughout Western policy think tanks defending discrimination and violence against the Rohingya. One, published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) under the title, “Rohingya Is More than a Human Rights Issue for Myanmar,” complains:
…the United States should avoid pressuring Myanmar to accept the Muslims in Rakhine state as an indigenous ethnic group and give them citizenship immediately. In Myanmar, neither the government nor the people will bow to such pressure, and changing their status to an indigenous people is not under consideration.
Aung Din’s “US Campaign for Burma,” is a Washington-based front both funded by the US government, and lobbying the US government for funding to other pro-NLD fronts both in and bordering Myanmar.
Among these US-funded fronts, included the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation in Bangkok. Run by Western journalists concurrently heading the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT), the foundation trained pro-NLD agitators in communication and media.
One of the “graduates” of this foundation was Pe Myint, Myanmar’s current “Minister of Information.” He now uses the “Ministry of Information” to prevent even the use of the term “Rohingya,” and regularly disseminates propaganda further inflaming national tensions.
In other words, from the “saffron-stained grassroots” to the highest levels of Suu Kyi’s government, anti-Rohingya violence is so deeply ingrained and has been for years, it was only through the Western media’s monopoly over information until now that has prevented this impending – and now unfolding catastrophe – from being noticed and averted.
Considering the extensive support the US has provided to place Suu Kyi, her NLD, and various supporting factions into power, and considering America’s track record for implementing regime change around the world, is it any wonder ultra-violent racists are hacking Rohingya minorities to death in Southeast Asia, while Washington’s proxies in Ukraine commit similar atrocities in the name of Neo-Nazism, while Western proxies in Libya and Syria do so under US-Saudi inspired Wahhabism?
While it is tempting to wade into the sectarian minutia of each and every one of these conflicts, there is but one common denominator, cynically inflaming tensions among groups that have in the past and could in the future coexist. This cynical process is carried out not for religious or ideology reasons but for self-serving geopolitical gain.

Burmese government is 'renewing attacks on Rohingya Muslims'


Here is a report from the Independent of the UK on the latest news about the Rohingyas of Myanmar.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Nano Tata - inside story

Here is the link to an important revelation on Nano Tata, which many outsiders like me did not know about.

Activists seek justice for wrongful convictions in India

Syed Wasif Haider was arrested by plainclothes policemen on July 31, 2001, from Kanpur, an industrial city in northern Uttar Pradesh state of India. He was accused of being a member of Hizbul Mujahideen, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by India, the European Union and the United States.
After languishing in prison for eight years, he was finally acquitted of all the charges in court.
On October 2, he was among 15 people wrongfully imprisoned, who gave evidence before the People's Tribunal on those acquitted in terror cases.
The Tribunal, which released its report on Saturday in New Delhi, called for Indian officials responsible for wrongful arrests and prosecution to be held accountable.
The Tribunal, organised by Innocence Network - an Indian collective of individuals and organisations working for the rights of those who have been wrongfully prosecuted - said the government should be made to pay compensation for the wrongful convictions.
"The dignity of those acquitted must be restored. Thus it is imperative that the harm inflicted on them must be redressed within the framework of rights rather than charity," retired Justice Ajit Prakash Shah, part of the jury at the Tribunal, said at the official release of the report in New Delhi.
"Those who had been wrongly convicted should be entitled to compensation from the state," Shah, a former chief justice of Delhi High Court, said.
The report, which Justice Shah released on the behalf of the Innocence Network, said the testimonies make it amply clear that the investigating agencies needed greater accountability and transparency.
"The erring officers must be suspended with immediate effect," Shah told Al Jazeera.

The Cleansing of Rakhine - by Jason Rhode

Here is the link to an excellent piece by Jason Rhode.

On Suu Kyi (the racist devil), Pulitzer award winning reporter Nicholas Kristof wrote in the Time magazine, “Instead, as her country imposes on the Rohingya Muslim minority an apartheid that would have made white supremacists in South Africa blush, she bites her tongue.” Well said!
Jason's last paragraph sums up the current crisis appositely when the murderous regime says that it is following its rule: "The rule of law? There is a higher law. There is a higher rule. If the law of Myanmar says that the Rohingya deserve to be expelled from their homeland, then the law is a lie, and so is she."
I fully agree.

Only in Mogher Mulluk!

I just came across a report published in the Bangkok Post that the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture of Myanmar has announced that it is working on a treatise based on documents and chronologies written by historians throughout the ages to prove that the Rohingya community is not an indigenous group of Burma.

My comments follow:
When genocide is taking place to wipe out an entire population based on their ethnicity, color, race and religion it is a moot point whether or not they are indigenous to the land where they are being persecuted. But fascist criminals always have such justifications, no matter how false they are, to hoodwink others, esp. their own whom they want to believe in the myth that they have create to nourish the sinister national agenda towards elimination of the targeted group.

So such criminal ploys by the Myanmar ministry is not surprising to us at all. What these wicked war criminals ought to answer is: what international law allows such an elimination campaign against a targeted group?


Only in Mogher Mulluk like Myanmar can such war crimes be justified by its evil perpetrators. These criminals need to be tried for their crimes against humanity.

Suu Kyi's Silence


Ronan Lee analyzes the Rohingya crisis in this link.

Behind the Fence

Here below is an essay from Lindsay Branham who posted this in the Huffington Post:
=========
Today I leave Sittwe. Five days with the Rohingya, who some call the most persecuted people on earth. Five days of attempted witness. Five days of peeling back the veil of a slow genocide. Five days of descent into their horror. Five days of seeing, even so briefly, what it is like to be stripped of birthplace, nationality, freedom, opportunity, land, education, jobs, food, health care, and finally, the right to your own name. Five days of warmth from a people who are told by their government that they do not deserve to be alive.
I wrote the above on the day I left Sittwe, Myanmar, after wrapping production on Behind The Fence, a virtual reality documentary that I directed with my colleague Jonathan Olinger. This is my first virtual reality film, Executive Produced by The Nexus Fund. We chose VR because the situation facing the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar is so dire and little known, that we hoped this nascent technology could amplify their entrapment to a world that has the power to prevent their annihilation. I could talk about the challenges of making a 360 film, what cameras we used or how we even got access to the camps, but I hope all of that disappears when you watch Behind The Fence. Be transported to the camps the Rohingya are forced to live in; and not to be a voyeur of their suffering, but to let your witness become solidarity. They do not need spectators.
What you will see in this film is the story of a group of people called the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Myanmar, who are surviving a Buddhist-led campaign to eliminate them.
You will see Abul rubbing his wife’s shoulders and spending his entire income, 50 cents, on three apples, because she asked. You will see Abul arranging the sticks under his wife’s chair so that it is level, giving her some small comfort despite her pain, for which there is no hospital to take her to, nor medicine to buy. You will see Abul asking to be recognized by his ancient name, Rohingya. You will see a religious leader digging small graves for small bodies. You will see a young girl collapsed in tears over her dead father. You will see what life is like for people who live in confinement. This is not just another refugee camp ― this is systematic and calculated elimination.
When I left the concentration camps the Rohingya live in, I penned these words as a feeble effort to express what should not exist.
I am born thus.
Must it condemn me to die?
Landless, stateless,
banished behind barbed wire.
I do not breathe your air,
mine is constricted and I choke
with the death of the young.
The boats go out to sea at midnight,
carrying all those who will try to buy their freedom.
They know not the waters will become their grave.
I see smoke on the horizon,
I feel the pulse of rain.
I hear the call to prayer.
Gaunt and shadowed bodies,
move like powder in the morning light.
They dig their own graves,
clinging at least to the right to choose their resting place.
Grant us at least this.
Penned in to die,
a low hum vibration still
rises up from this corner of the earth.
A frequency only a few hear.
And if you are one, it is a siren.
I invite you to experience Behind The Fence and learn about this group of people who have a name. Speak it out loud, and respond to this siren, which can not be forgotten once heard.

The genocide in Myanmar

Human Rights Watch says satellite imagery shows the Burmese military intentionally razed Rohingya villages in the state of Rakhine. The United Nations has called on Burma leader Aung San Suu Kyi to intervene and halt the military campaign against the long-persecuted Muslim ethnic group. The recent military campaign has reportedly included the rape and killing of civilians, as well as the use of helicopter gunships to open fire against Rohingyas below.
The images and interviews "firmly" place responsibility for the torchings with the military. “The new findings refute the Burmese military and government’s claims that Rohingya militants were responsible for burning down their own villages,” said HRW’s Asia Director Brad Adams. “The satellite imagery and eyewitness interviews clearly point the finger at the military for setting these buildings ablaze."
It added that the government's denial that the military are using arson as a tactic lacked credibility. “Government officials have been caught out by this satellite imagery, and it’s time they recognize their continued denials lack credibility,” said Adams.
And still Suu Kyi and her criminal government denies the charges.
============
The United Nations estimates that about 30,000 people have been newly displaced in the northern part of Maungdaw Township in Rakhine State as a result of the armed attacks on Border Guard Police posts on 9 October 2016 and subsequent security operations. In addition to those displaced, large segments of the population in the north of Rakhine State have also been impacted by the recent events and new movement restrictions.
UN staff joined a Government-led mission to Maungdaw Township on 9-10 December to get an initial overview of the situation and participated in a limited distribution of aid to a number of villages. The sites visited during the mission were chosen by the Government and included both Muslim and ethnic Rakhine villages. During the mission, the Rakhine State Government provided some food and non-food items. With a limited duration, geographic scope and participation, the mission was a welcome step but it was not a comprehensive needs assessment and does not represent a return to the regular, sustained humanitarian access required for the delivery of life-saving assistance to all communities in Rakhine State.
The majority of the 30,000 displaced people are Muslims, most of whom call themselves Rohingya.
In recent weeks there have been increasing reports of displaced people crossing the border into Bangladesh. According to latest reports coming from the UN in Bangladesh, it is estimated that close to 27,000 Muslim people have arrived in Bangladesh since 1 November.
Most of the pre-existing humanitarian activities in the northern part of Rakhine State remain suspended as a result of movement restrictions put in place after 9 October 2016. It has also not been possible for the United Nations and humanitarian partners to independently verify the number of affected people, or to assess and meet their needs.
There is evidence that hundreds of houses and other buildings in many villages have been burned and reported allegations of serious human rights violations have continued to emerge, particularly from the northern part of Maungdaw Township. However, United Nations officials in Myanmar have not been able to independently verify these allegations. On 1 December 2016, the President of Myanmar established an Investigation Commission to look into the situation that led to the violent attacks and the events that followed.
In the last few weeks, the authorities have allowed the UN and international NGOs to resume some limited pre-existing humanitarian services. However these have so far reached only a fraction of those people already in need before 9 October. Out of more than 150,000 people who were receiving food, cash and nutrition assistance prior to 9 October, about 20,000 people have received assistance since current crisis began and 130,000 have not been reached.
There are escalating concerns about the health implications of the suspension of services and movement restrictions for people in the northern part of Rakhine State. Most people living outside the main centres have not been able to access primary healthcare services or emergency referrals for two months. This includes 7,600 pregnant women who have not been able to access any medical care and more than 10,800 people who were receiving nutrition treatment. Humanitarian organizations have noted the grave risks posed to children who already suffer from high levels of deprivation and malnutrition. Approximately 3,400 children in northern part of Rakhine State were being treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition prior to 9 October and are at serious risk due to the disruption to their assistance.

Myanmar's farce panel report


A 13-member panel set up by Myanmar's de facto head of state Aung San Suu Kyi to probe the clashes in Rakhine state and the army's response to it said in an interim statement that security forces acted according to the law.
The commission was formed by Suu Kyi following international pressure to investigate allegations that the country's armed forces raped and killed Rohingya Muslim women and children, and burned down their homes.
"Government authorities have followed the law and acted legally in their response to the attackers," Reuters cited the panel as saying. Incidentally, a similar statement was made in October as well, which Longroom had reported at the time.
The commission, headed by Vice President Myint Swe, a general and an acolyte of former junta leader Than Shwe, is expected to deliver a complete report by 31 January.
On Tuesday (13 December), the commission wrapped up a three-day visit to Maungdaw, where the military's response had reportedly forced thousands of Muslims to flee across the border to Bangladesh.
===============
Here are my comments to the farce with the probe:
The so-called probe report from Suu Kyi's panel that "the security forces had abided by the law" in a Muslim-majority area of northwestern Rakhine State should not surprise anyone. It was a hogwash!
 
The biased, pro-government panel was meant to deflect international pressure about serious war crimes perpetrated by the arsonist, rapist and murderous Myanmar Tatmadaw that has a long history of committing such war crimes. Their savage law suits the very  purpose of an apartheid government that has become what one would call the Mogher Mulluk in which lives of minority Rohingya can be stampeded with impunity.
Simply deplorable!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Suspended in time: The ongoing persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Burma



Preface:


The U.S. Commission on International Religious


Freedom (USCIRF) has monitored religious


freedom conditions in Burma (also known as


Myanmar) since the Commission first began its work


in 1999. The law that created USCIRF, the International


Religious Freedom Act, instructed the Commission to,


among other things, recommend U.S. government policies


in response to religious freedom violations


around the world. Based on Burma’s systematic,


egregious, and ongoing violations of the freedom


of religion or belief, USCIRF consistently has recommended it be


designated as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC,


every year since the Department of State first made the


designation in 2000. USCIRF based this recommendation


on its comprehensive assessment of the situation for


religious minority communities, and also at times the


ill treatment of majority Buddhists, relative to international


human rights standards.


As part of its monitoring, USCIRF in 2016 commissioned


a research project to investigate religious


freedom conditions for Christian communities in


Burma. The research sought to investigate the facts and


causes of discrimination, violence, and other abuses


against Christians. The result of this research, called


“Hidden Plight: Christian Minorities in Burma,” is available


at www.uscirf.gov.


In seeking to shed light on the little-known


circumstances of Christians in Burma, USCIRF


acknowledged the serious humanitarian crisis faced by


Rohingya and other Muslims—and indeed all people


in Rakhine State. The deprivation of their rights—by


both government and societal actors—is one of the


most profound human rights tragedies of the 21st Century.


In recent years, some within and outside Burma


have argued the Rohingya situation has nothing to do


with religious freedom. Yet this viewpoint ignores the


fact that while Rohingya Muslims may not be targeted


entirely based on religion, they are singled out


as different and perceived as a threat because of their


religion and ethnicity.


 


While the lengthy history of the Rohingya Muslim


crisis is beyond the scope of this paper, an examination


of the marked deterioration of rights under the


previous government provides insight into ways


Burma’s government can address the crisis and the


international community can encourage and assist.


 


The following policy paper analyzes religious freedom conditions for Rohingya


Muslims from 2011, when President Thein Sein’s government


took office, to July 7, 2016, the date marking the


National League for Democracy (NLD) government’s


first 100 calendar days in office.


 


Conclusion:


 


The new government notwithstanding, Burma’s


ongoing transition to democracy is imperiled


by previous governments’ repeated failures on


human rights, including religious freedom and tolerance.


The country also remains the scene of unrelenting


ethnic conflicts and pervasive discrimination against


religious and ethnic minorities.


 


Rohingya Muslims are at the epicenter of this ill


treatment: government-directed abuses and/or government


indifference to riots and mob violence against


Rohingya and other Muslims have killed hundreds,


displaced thousands, and destroyed hundreds of religious


properties, including religious sites, since 2012.


Burma’s transition, both between different


governing parties and to a more democratic form of


government, presents many priorities that require


urgent attention. In any society, competing interests


can cause tensions; whereas some disagreements


may snarl the legislative and policy process, others can turn


violent, particularly when persons or groups seek to elevate by force one ideology and/or faith over all others. In the case of the latter, political


or societal forces often appeal to sectarianism to achieve political ends or


amass more power. USCIRF has seen such political aspirations motivate and enable extremist and nationalist groups to target other religious communities,


leading to greater intolerance in society, including grave violations of religious freedom. Extremist and nationalist elements achieve this by stoking underlying


antipathies toward or divisions between religious communities. Ultimately, such political and societal drivers can prompt mass movements of people fleeing persecution.


 


In short, the Rohingya crisis exists not just because Rohingya Muslims in Burma are being denied their rights, including religious freedom; there also is a strategic


and malicious political dynamic at play, one that has not vanished simply because the 2015 elections are over. If the NLD government aspires to a true democratic


form of government that respects and protects universal human rights, it must take bold, decisive, and immediate steps to change the current trajectory for Rohingya Muslims. This includes: signing and ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; improving access to humanitarian aid in Rakhine State where


Rohingya Muslims and others are displaced, restricted from movement, or denied basic services; inviting the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief to visit and allowing the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to open a country office to


assess the human rights violations against all individuals in Rakhine State; ceasing the criminalization of the peaceful exercise or expression of religion or belief; and


doing away with discriminatory policies, practices, and laws – especially the


1982 Citizenship Law that marginalizes and excludes Rohingya Muslims. In addition, the government should consider ways to formally include Rohingya Muslims


in governing processes, such as by engaging them in the 21st Century Panglong discussion about national reconciliation.


 


The U.S. government, in turn, must continue to raise with Burma’s government concerns about Rohingya Muslims’ human rights. Efforts should include supporting


interfaith collaborations, in which Rohingya Muslims also participate, especially at the grassroots level; advocating for improved access to humanitarian aid in Rakhine State; encouraging religious freedom advocacy among non-traditional audiences, such as the


 


business community and the media; urging the government of Burma to cease punishing expression deemed blasphemous, defamatory of religion, or contemptuous


or insulting to religion; and using the term Rohingya, both publicly and privately, which respects the right of Rohingya Muslims to identify as they choose. Additionally,


in lieu of sanctions, the U.S. government should apply section 604(a) of the International Religious Freedom Act to deny visas to or admission into the


United States to individuals responsible for or known to have directly carried out particularly severe violations of religious freedom. Rohingya Muslims face a difficult day-to-day existence with little ability to honor their past, prosper in the present, or make plans for their future. They are suspended in time, largely unable to create a better life for themselves or their children. It is a moral imperative for the United States and the international community to impress upon Burma through every appropriate point of


leverage that neither time, nor the judgment of history, will reflect kindly on the new government if it chooses to procrastinate in addressing this ever-growing crisis.


The full report can be viewed by clicking here.